Much ado about pumping
The stories, most of which stem from national and out of state publications, reference a new state law that passed without much fanfare in the 2017 Oregon Legislative and quietly went into effect Monday.
House Bill 2482 allows people in low population counties to pump their own gas regardless of the time of day. Previous laws allowed self service in rural areas during specific hours.
The bill passed handily in the Legislature with only one nay vote. It attracted some news coverage but did not, as the Detroit Free Press claimed, «send shock waves across all 98,000 plus square miles and all 4 million residents.»
Mostly because the law only affects a tinyfraction of Oregonians.
So let’s setthe record straight: The new law allows counties such Crook, Jefferson, Malheur and Wallowawith 40,000 people or less to switch to self service gas stations, meaning business will continue as usual for more than 90 percent of Oregon’spopulation.
The alleged «panic» traces back to a that asked whether Oregon should allow self serve gas statewide.
KTVL CBS 10 News, Medford
The post went viral, garnering 40,000 comments and more than 50,000 shares.
As with most social media comments notorious for their even keeledness the remarks werekind and reasonable.
«I don’t even know HOW to pump gas and I am 62, native Oregonian. I say NO THANKS! I don’t want to smell like gas,» one person wrote.
Another pointed out that seniors, people with disabilities and those with children in cars often need help. She also said getting out of the car when transients are around can be unsafe.
The pro full service posts drew instant ire from out of staters.
One commenter dubbed Oregonians «backwoods rednecks. in the North» for being unable to pump gas without spilling the whole tank and triggering a Star Wars style explosion.
Another likened residents to people in infomercials who can’t perform menial tasks.
Medford, a city of more than 70,000 in Jackson County, has too many people toqualify for self service.
LifeHacker even published an article titled «How to pump your own smelly gas in Oregon and live to tell about it.»
Elsewhere: Oregonians freaking out over law that requires some of them to pump their own gas
Dozens of outlets picked up on the story,painting Oregonians as fearful, simpletons unable to pump gas without drenching their clothes in fuel and setting fire to entire city blocks.
Nevermind that many residents are out of state transplants, capable of interstate travel or both.
Those in Salem, Eugene and Portland are not affected by the new law.
And, according to The Bend Bulletin, many stations in low population areas are opting to continue offering full service.
Oregon and New Jersey are the only states with a prohibition on self serve gas stations. Oregon passed the dispensing law in 1951. At the time, many states had similar laws in place. But even as gas pump technology and safety improved, the law remained in effect.
The statute lists 17 reasons for the self service ban, including fire hazard safety, higher insurance liability rates, accommodation for peoplewith disabilities, exposure to toxic fumes, and the addition of fuel attendant jobs, especially for young people.